Title: LUCAS Soil Component: proposal for analysing new physical, chemical and biological soil parameters
Authors: FERNANDEZ UGALDE OIHANEJONES ArwynTOTH GergelyORGIAZZI ALBERTOPANAGOS PanagiotisEISELT Beatrice
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC102485
ISBN: 978-92-79-60683-0
ISSN: 1831-9424
Other Identifiers: EUR 28038
OP LB-NA-28038-EN-N
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC102485
DOI: 10.2788/884940
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The European Commission launched a soil assessment component to the periodic LUCAS Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame Survey in 2009. Physical and chemical parameters in topsoil (0-20 cm) were assessed in 23 Member States (EU-27 except Bulgaria, Romania, Malta and Cyprus). The aim of LUCAS Soil Component was to create a harmonised and comparable dataset of physical and chemical parameters of topsoil at the EU. The LUCAS Topsoil Survey was extended to Bulgaria and Romania in 2012. Overall, ca. 22,000 soil samples were collected and analysed. All samples were analysed for percentage of coarse fragments, particle-size distribution, pH, organic carbon, carbonates, phosphorous, total nitrogen, extractable potassium, cation exchange capacity, multispectral properties and heavy metals. In 2015, the Topsoil Survey was repeated in the same set of points of LUCAS 2009/2012 for monitoring changes in topsoil physical and chemical parameters across the EU. Furthermore, the topsoil survey was extended to Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Switzerland. Approximately 27,000 samples we collected in 2015 and will be analysed over 2016 and 2017. Currently, the European Commission is working on the organization of the upcoming LUCAS Soil Surveys. This report is a proposal for analysing new physical, chemical and biological soil parameters within the forthcoming LUCAS Soil Surveys. Biological parameters, such as soil biodiversity, needs to be added to LUCAS Soil Surveys. Soil biological community supports food and biomass productivity, is a genetic pool for developing novel pharmaceuticals, and affects climate regulation. Among physical properties, bulk density is a key parameter to assess soil compaction and to estimate soil organic carbon stock in the EU. Studying soil profiles is also necessary to understand soil-forming processes and to evaluate soil ability for carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, water storage, and contaminant filtering. In LUCAS 2018 Soil Survey, we propose to assess soil biodiversity, measure bulk density in topsoil samples, and study in soil profiles physical and chemical properties previously analysed in topsoil. The goal is to establish baseline values as a reference to enable future comparisons of physical, chemical and biological properties in topsoil and soil profiles in the EU. Additionally, we recommend repeating topsoil sampling in LUCAS 2021 Soil Survey in order to analyse physico-chemical parameters measured in 2009, 2012, and 2015. This will allow to monitor changes on topsoil parameters due to changes on land use/land cover and to assess their impact on soil functions and degradation processes. Field measurements such as signs of soil erosion and thickness of organic layer in Histosols shall be also analysed in LUCAS 2021 to assess two critical soil degradation processes in the EU: soil erosion and organic carbon decline due to land use changes and land take of Histosols.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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